Dumbarton were put to the sword by a clinical Dunfermline Athletic side as Sons woes continued in front of goal at The Rock on Saturday.

Joe Cardle opened the scoring, with Kalum Higginbotham scoring before the half-hour mark.

Sons should have pulled one back when Craig Barr’s header hit the post after the break.

Andy Dowie was sent off with 13 minutes, after receiving two yellows.

Nicky Clark and Andy Ryan rounded off the scoring for the away side, capping off a dismal afternoon for the home side.

The Pars have now scored 17 goals in five games against Stevie Aitken’s side since returning to the Championship last season.

And Stevie Aitken’s side’s troubles in front of goal continue, only scoring one goal so far in their opening four league games.

The Sons manager opted for a host of changes, bringing in Ally Roy, Danny Handling, Christian Nade and Craig Barr into the side.

The home side’s start got off to a poor start, conceding a scrappy goal after five minutes.

Declan McManus’ shot bounced off the post, before Callum Smith’s follow up was scrambled off the line by Dowie. The defender’s clearance landed perfectly for Cardle though, who slotted in his fifth goal against Dumbarton in as many games.

Dunfermline double their lead on 28 minutes, catching Sons on the counter. Cardle’s pass out wide on the left found Higginbotham who finished well from a tight angle.

Sons first meaningful attempt on goal came via Tom Walsh. The winger picked up the ball after Dean Shiels slipped, but the Walsh’s shot was fired over after 37 minutes. Dumbarton looked sharper for the first 15 minutes of the second half, finally gaining a foothold in the game and able to string together more passes.

But Dunfermline were in control for most of the afternoon, with Sons chances extremely limited.

The Sons also felt aggrieved not to be given a penalty when Ally Roy appeared to be clipped just inside the box just before the hour mark.

Dumbarton came closest via Barr, his header bounced off the crossbar after he had connected with Walsh’s corner.

Their afternoon went from bad to worse when Dowie was sent off for a second yellow card, tripping up Hopkirk on the half-way line.

Barr again had another chance for the Sons, but Dunfermline goalkeeper Andy Murdoch was on hand to collect the ball comfortably for the Pars. Dunfermline put the result beyond doubt 87 minutes in when Clark headed home Hopkirk’s Cross.

And then Clark turned provider for Dunfermline’s four, with summer signing Andy Ryan curling the ball into the far corner.

Dumbarton: Gallacher, McLaughlin, Dowie, Carswell, Walsh (Wilson 82), Wardrop, Hutton, Roy (Gallagher, 87), Handling (Smith, 17), Nade, Barr. Subs not used: Ewings, Johnston, Hill, Prior.

Dunfermline: Murdoch, Williamson, Talbot, Morris, Ashcroft, McManus (Ryan, 63), Higginbotham, Wedderburn, Smith (Hopkirk, 63), Shiels, Cardle (Clark, 78). Subs not used: Gill, Martin, M’Voto, Paton.